Canadian Forest Service Publications

The silviculture labor force in eastern Ontario: a socio-economic profile. 1991. Rugo, L. Forestry Canada, Headquarters, Forestry Development Directorate, Ottawa. Information Report DPC-X-33. 62 p. (includes: app.).

Year: 1991

Issued by: National Capital Region

Catalog ID: 10030

Language: English

Series: Information Report (CFS - Ottawa)

Availability: Order paper copy (free), PDF (download)

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 This report shows the results of a 1989 joint survey on the silviculture labor force in eastern Ontario, and highlights the possible development of a silviculture worker certification program.

 In  Canada, little information beyond two 1987 studies in British Columbia has been gathered on the labor force in the forest management services industry. This report augments this information with data gathered in eastern Ontario in a 1989 joint study by the Forest Labour Market Development Branch of Forestry Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.

 This information is a resource tool which can be used to develop forest management programs, develop human resources in forestry, evaluate employment creation/improvement programs, and plan for longer term employment opportunities.

 Silviculture workers were surveyed in four silviculture employment areas:  forest renewal, site preparation, stand tending, and nursery activities. It was found that the eastern Ontario work force was composed mostly of young single males with few children to support, except those involved in nursery activities, who were more likely to be middle-aged females with one to three children. As a total group, they were fairly well educated; more than half in most groups has completed high school, from 10% to 25% had some forestry education, 32% to 67% had silviculture training, and 22% to 52% brought four or more seasons of experience to their 1989 jobs.

 Generally the job market was only open to these workers between 4 and 12 weeks per year for 40 or more hours per week. Only stand tending workers were generally able to work more than 12 weeks depending on the snow fall and to earn more per year from silviculture work. In addition, some silviculture workers were multiskilled and able to remain employed for most of the year by moving from one silviculture employment group to another.

 Although there are many approaches to developing human resources in forestry, this report highlights the possible development of a silviculture worker certification program. Such a program could delineate specific health and safety knowledge and occupational skills to which workers could aspire. The certification could be based on some combination of forestry education, silviculture training, and experience. Such certification could ensure a qualified pool of silviculture workers, improve worker productivity and income, improve safety, reduce forest management costs, and lower job turnover.

Also available under the title:
La main-d'oeuvre sylvicole dans l'est de l'Ontario: un profil socio-économique (French)